August 4, 2011

A Moment in Time

As I sit here in my tiny house in the middle of the midwest, I sometimes think about the history of the world. Wouldn't it be great to have a bird's eye view of history? I'd love to see a slide show of all the wonderful, horrible, amazing events that have rocked the planet; you know, things like:

the signing of the declaration
watching Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific
seeing people's faces as the Berlin Wall came down
or the second all those soldiers toppled out of the Trojan Horse

It would've been heart-breaking to see the Jews finally freed from Hitler's concentration camps, but I think a part of me would've liked to have been there.

However, there is another moment in history I'd like to have seen. This one maybe more than most.

My dad was a soldier in WWll. Sometimes, during our family reunions, my dad would sit and talk about the war. He'd talk about the near misses he'd had, the challenges he faced, the heart break, the fear, and the things he'd done. I only know this because others in the family have hinted at those stories. I missed every single one of those talks. Not because I wasn't at the family reunions. No, I was there. I was just busy with 3 little boys; bathing them, brushing their teeth, nursing them, changing their diapers, wrestling them to bed. I was having my own private little battles so I missed out on the big one.

There was one time, and only one time, in the whole of my life that my dad talked to me about WWll. It was one hour I will never forget because it was just me and my dad, walking alone through the countryside- he opened up his heart and let me see some of it. He talked about shell shock, and again, those near misses and the fear. But the one moment I would've loved to have seen was when he and friends walked through France at the close of the war. As they walked through all the little towns and villages women and children were there, waiting for them. Those people were so happy to see the Allies...so thankful. They wept, they hugged the soldiers as they passed by; they threw flowers at their feet and pressed candy into their hands.

Wouldn't you have loved to have seen your dad, a young man who'd gone through hell, at that moment? Knowing that what he'd gone through and suffered had meant the world to so many people? Wouldn't you have loved to have seen the look on his face? Can you imagine what must have been going on in his mind?

Of course, if I would've been there I wouldn't be his daughter. I would've missed out on so many other moments in time I did experience with him. Moments that I will never forget and wouldn't give up for anything, not even WWll.

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